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Yoshi's Woolly World Review

by Becky Hollada - October 12, 2015, 10:42 am EDT
Total comments: 19

8.5

North America has waited four months since the EU release. Was it worth it?

Delays and more delays have plagued the history of this new Yoshi title since its announcement. It’s seen playable demos at two different E3s and made it almost half way to a third before finally releasing in North America. But I have a lot of practice waiting and I enjoyed those demos at E3 two years in a row, so I was still pretty eager for this game. Good Feel’s track record with Kirby’s Epic Yarn gave me hope that Yoshi would be its spiritual successor, and it many respects, I was given more than I’d hoped for. While it unfortunately wasn’t a perfect experience, it is still well worth the money.

The story was simple enough to keep the playful feel the art style promises while adding its own appeal. This time, Yoshis’ home on Craft Island is under attack and his yarn friends unraveled and their yarn stolen by the evil Kamek. Two Yoshis manage to escape and go after Kamek, who has dropped yarn pieces of their friends in the worlds surrounding Craft Island. While they knit their friends back together one-by-one, they must keep following Kamek, defeating him and all the lackeys he throws their way until everyone is saved.

Admittedly, for the rage-quit enthusiast, Yoshi’s Woolly World might seem wholly unfulfilling. You won’t spend days on a single level, failing time and time again like platformers of the past. Bosses are nothing to write home about and level designs are not very technically challenging. Developers even opted out of the timed levels and limited lives that you expect to see from the platformer genre. You can spend hours on one level with no penalty, and while it’s still possible to die, you’ll only find yourself back at the last previous checkpoint, no matter how many times it happens. And there is even a whole mode of gameplay (Mellow Mode) that makes it even easier if it’s still too hard. No, instead it’s the collection aspect that makes up most of the game’s challenge. Level designs clearly focus more on exploration, on finding secrets and testing your environment until you find everything, as opposed to giving you a learning curve to test your skill. The goal to get every level’s bonuses and every unlockable Yarn Yoshi design drives this game rather than giving you a reason to come back after you’ve beaten the story, and while I found it enjoyable, it’s truly hit or miss with the larger audience.

I began playing Yoshi with the gamepad and the controls were very smooth, easy and enjoyable, even adjustable in some respects. But playing with the gamepad didn’t hold much appeal for long after playing with the Wii controller. While the gamepad’s layout made it easier to move while firing yarn balls, I much preferred the ability to freely tilt my controller for my firing lines as opposed to waiting for it to cycle to the angle I needed. Gamepad? No rapid fire. Wii controller? Throwing yarn exactly where I wanted at the drop of a hat.

Besides the focus on exploratory play in a platformer, the other standout component to Yoshi’s Woolly World is exactly what you would expect: the artistry. In some ways, I appreciated the lower difficulty of the game as a whole for the opportunity I had to delight in the game’s charming atmosphere displayed beautifully with the Wii U’s graphics. Visually, Woolly World never slacks, carrying the details from the level backgrounds and animations into the overworld and menu screens, and pairing wonderfully with a musical score that perfectly walks the line between playful and epic. I found myself wanting more to the game just to keep knitting together cute Boos and Chain Chomps, and seeing crocheted flowers bloom into view.

Yarn Yoshi designs are one of two uses in this game for amiibo. Tapping amiibo to the NFC reader unlocks special designs of Yarn Yoshis, but not all existing amiibo are compatible. Not even all Smash Bros. amiibo, so this didn’t do a lot for me. The other use is “Double Yoshi”. In solo mode, you can tap a Yarn Yoshi amiibo into the game to play a double to use. He does nothing but mirror your moves, which—not surprisingly—doesn’t work well. But he’s much more use as a constant source of yarn. I spent all my time carrying this little guy around in yarn ball form and that was it. It is interesting to note that he can also serve as an extra life if he remains safe when you’ve fallen off a cliff or taken one too many hits. Your player will switch to this double while the additional Yoshi returns in a flying egg to fight another fight.

But in the end, without painstakingly collecting everything there is to get, Yoshi can feel like it stops short. The easier difficulty definitely contributes to this, because for those who don’t feel like a completionist run, breezing through six worlds doesn’t take much time at all. There are only a few obstacles in various levels that will slow your roll, but only for a few tries at most for the average gamer.

On the other hand, for the collector, this game is plenty long and fulfilling. Each level has four ranks to achieve stars in, three for your collectibles and one for full health, the last being fairly difficult in many cases. Each world has a special level to give based on finding all the smiley flowers for that world, and then four ranks still within that level to star. And so on. As I said before, this is definitely the real challenge, and also, the real length. It’s very rewarding to keep finding that last stamp time and time again, plus adding to your collection of Yarn Yoshi designs overall.

Yoshi’s Woolly World is game that doesn’t pretend to be anything that it isn’t. It capitalizes on cute and charming and creates a worthwhile game with plenty to look forward to. Its fatal flaw is only that its appeal runs short for gamers who look for the complexity and skill challenge Nintendo’s other platformers offer.

Summary

Pros
  • Excellent, easy controls
  • Fun variations on level design
  • Plenty of content to keep you going
  • Visually and musically stunning
Cons
  • Game can feel too easy and quick for many
  • No appeal for gamepad play

Talkback

PhilPhillip Stortzum, October 12, 2015

Really excited to pick this bad boy up this Friday. :)

peacefulwarOctober 12, 2015

Damn... here I was really tempted to pay full price for it.  Games just aren't worth day 1 for me anymore.  Especially easy ones.  How many levels are there?  More than Yoshi's Island?

Luigi DudeOctober 13, 2015

Quote from: peacefulwar

Damn... here I was really tempted to pay full price for it.  Games just aren't worth day 1 for me anymore.  Especially easy ones.  How many levels are there?  More than Yoshi's Island?

There's 55 levels which is one more then Yoshi's Island.  The average level in this game is generally considered to be bigger then the average Yoshi's Island level.  So even though it just has one more level, it's still a much bigger game content wise.

Plus like the review says, the challenge and length from the game comes from trying to actually 100% like the original Yoshi's Island.  The impressions I've read from the people in Europe have the game around 20-30 hours to 100% depending on your skill levels since some of the later hidden stages are considered very hard and some people claim trying to 100% these levels take up more time then the main game levels.  The final level you only unlock after 100% the rest of the game in particular is suppose to be pretty long and quite brutal to 100%.

EnnerOctober 13, 2015

Nice.


Really odd that the GamePad doesn't offer the gyro aiming of the Wii Remote. Guess Good Feel didn't get tips from the Splatoon team.

DasmosOctober 13, 2015

From my experience the levels aren't hard to collect 100% of everything or aren't interesting enough to go back to and try to collect everything. It's not a bad game per se, but a little bland and definitely skewed towards younger gamers.

tyto_albaOctober 13, 2015

it gets a lot harder in the later worlds and collecting all Yoshi skins is not that easy even in the earlier worlds.
You can also use most Amiibo to alter Yoshi's skin like the scanned Amiibo. There's a multiplayer option where you can eat one another.
only problem i had with the game was when the platforming became more intense it was easy to accidentally press " down" on the d-pad causing Yoshi to plunge into the abyss below.
It's another wonderful exlusive to the Wii U for platforming fans of all ages. Only Nintendo makes them like this.

SorenOctober 13, 2015

After playing and loving Kirby's Epic Yard earlier this year, I am absolutely ready to dive into this game Day 1.

LucarioOctober 13, 2015

Australia's had it for months tho...

PhilPhillip Stortzum, October 14, 2015

Quote from: Lucariofan99

Australia's had it for months tho...

This review is based off the North American version, releasing this Friday.

RazorkidOctober 15, 2015

Really looking forward to playing this with my 6yr old daughter.

MythtendoOctober 15, 2015

After watching PeanutButterGamer and SpaceHamster do a co-op video of the game, I am more interested in the game than I had been before. It looks like a cute little game that I would enjoy playing.

LucarioOctober 15, 2015

Quote from: Mythtendo

After watching PeanutButterGamer and SpaceHamster do a co-op video of the game, I am more interested in the game than I had been before. It looks like a cute little game that I would enjoy playing.

ah PBG great guy! but he's brother is a better reviewer ProJared and above them the best of the best is JonTron!

MythtendoOctober 15, 2015

I like JonTron, but he hasn't made many videos this year. ProJared is alright, I do watch his videos sometimes. I just like PBG's comments on games and his "PBG sucks at..." series. I also watch brutalmoose because for some reason I enjoy watching him play games like LEGO Island and Psychic Detective, and Pat the NES Punk (I just started listening to his podcast too and it has quickly become one of my favorites).

LucarioOctober 15, 2015

JonTron makes quality shit like Starcade that stuff takes time, man if you hate waiting don't get into the Gmod Idiot box...
Minecraft hardcore is amazing have you seen that on PBG's let's play channel?

MythtendoOctober 15, 2015

I'm not rushing JonTron or anything, I just miss the regular stuff he does. Like I loved watching him talk about the Home Alone games (I had no idea about that European only Home Alone PS2 game that came out in 2005 but looked like a PS1 game), or talking about hacked Pokemon games, or even the different Barbie games.

Not really a fan of Minecraft TBH, so haven't checked out the Hardcore videos from him. I'm not much of a PC gamer, but PBG does have me slightly interested in the upcoming PC game Dungeon Defenders II (though I wonder why it's been out as a early access game on Steam since December 2014 and still isn't done).

LucarioOctober 16, 2015

MC hardcore is hiraulous imagine PBG Projared Jontron the complentionist and Caddicarus all playing together.
plus Jontron season 3 starts next month.

PhilPhillip Stortzum, October 17, 2015

Really digging this game! I am doing a solo run and a co-op run with my older brother. We both like this game. It's very reminiscent of Yoshi's Island SNES in all the good ways, save for the lack of annoying babysitting!

Quote from: Phil

Really digging this game! I am doing a solo run and a co-op run with my older brother. We both like this game. It's very reminiscent of Yoshi's Island SNES in all the good ways, save for the lack of annoying babysitting!

Phil, how's the soundtrack so far?  Mine is still in the box waiting for a free evening, but one of my favorite things from Kirby's Epic Yarn was the soundtrack.  How does it compare?

MythtendoOctober 22, 2015

Just got the game today (would have gotten it the other day but the Walmart I went to hadn't put it out yet), played through the first two levels and really enjoying it. While beating the game may not be hard, I can assure you that the real fun and challenge will be collecting all the Flowers, Stamp Patches, and Wonder Wools (which unlock a new designs for Yoshi when you collect all 5 from a level for a total of 55 new designs you can unlock). The music is great, the graphics are adorable, and it's a very relaxing game (in a good way).

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WiiU

Game Profile

Yoshi's Woolly World Box Art

Genre Action
Developer GOOD-FEEL, Ltd.
Players1 - 2
Controllers & Accessories Amiibo

Worldwide Releases

na: Yoshi's Woolly World
Release Oct 16, 2015
PublisherNintendo
RatingEveryone
jpn: Yoshi Wool World
Release Jul 16, 2015
PublisherNintendo
RatingAll Ages
eu: Yoshi's Woolly World
Release Jun 26, 2015
PublisherNintendo
Rating3+
aus: Yoshi's Woolly World
Release Jun 25, 2015
PublisherNintendo
RatingGeneral

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